02 Jul, 2013 Last updated: 08 Nov, 2018

Ten ideas for projects that offer original solutions to get more Victorians eating more fruit and vegetables have been shortlisted for the VicHealth Seed Challenge.

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Ten ideas for projects that offer original solutions to get more Victorians eating more fruit and vegetables have been shortlisted for the VicHealth Seed Challenge.

In April, the VicHealth Seed Challenge posed the question: “How do we improve fruit and vegetable supply and access, as well as develop and promote a culture of healthy eating in Victoria?”

The shortlisted ideas include roving fresh food vans for Victoria’s ‘food deserts’, consumer-subsidised farmers’ markets for low income earners, ‘pop up’ fresh food markets, a healthy eating phone app for tradies, an online tool that maps empty fertile land and apps to help people source cheap fresh food.

Each of the 10 organisations will receive $1000 to develop their proposals and go into the running to become one of two finalists to receive up to $100,000 each to grow their idea.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said 54 high quality applications were received, representing a strong desire from a wide range of sectors to address future fresh food shortages and poor nutrition across the state.

“We asked people to be creative, to think big, and to take advantage of new technology so we can propose solutions to a very complex problem Victoria faces. Each of our 10 shortlisted entries has delivered that,” Ms Rechter said.

“Ultimately, the two winners will be those projects which ensure nutritious food is sustainable, available, and affordable for all Victorians to enjoy.

“They also need to look at the culture of healthy eating in Victoria and revive the value we once placed on fruit and vegetables, so that the healthy choice is the easiest and most desirable choice.”

Specialist business development support from The Australian Centre for Social Innovation will be provided for the winning entries. Winners will be announced 13 September 2013.

The shortlisted VicHealth Seed Challenge projects are: 

  • Healthy Food Connects - Mildura Rural City Council: using technology to connect local farmers with the community by developing an open food hub and QR codes with healthy recipes. 
  • Suspended fresh food at farmers’ markets - Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association: a charitable user-pays system where fresh and healthy food is offered on a sliding price scale to improve affordability for low-income earners. 
  • The Good Food Convoy - Sustainable Table: a portable ‘mini marketplace’ that will visit areas with limited access to fresh food and provide education, particularly aimed at children, along the way. 
  • Pop Up Fresh Food Markets - Inspiro: A series of pop up mini markets for the Yarra Ranges area to visit local ‘food deserts’, along with a mobile phone app and website to track the markets’ location. 
  •  Construction Workers Eating Phone Application Quiz and tips - Incolink Foundation Fund: a mobile phone app to provide healthy eating information and education to construction workers via a series of quizzes along with key industry news. 
  • Fresh and Fruitful, eating advice for new and expecting mums - Bridge 8: a series of short animations for pregnant women and new mothers with expert advice on nutrition for both mum and baby. 
  • 3000acres - Planisphere: an online platform that maps potential food growing spaces and empowers the community to utilise and protect valuable agricultural land for future food security. 
  • Open Food Network - Open Food Web Foundation: the development of a free online food marketplace using existing fresh food networks and giving new users the ability to connect, trade and co-ordinate movement of food, particularly for disadvantaged Victorians. 
  • Locavore Market, a gamified system for changing behaviours - Monash University: applying high-tech ‘gamification’ techniques to Victoria’s food system by allowing people to choose what to grow and where and how to distribute produce. Users of the technology create avatars and essentially become players in a game which yields real life results. 
  • 3 Squares - Centre for Education and Research in Environment Strategies (CERES): this meal planning app asks users to enter basic details about how they eat and cook and provides YouTube clips to healthy recipes, access to food relief services, healthy eating targets, favourite recipes, notifications about what’s in season and food swaps.

Find out more at www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/seedchallenge